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Trail leading to mountains

Reports from the Field

Reports from the Field

We enter a lot of events. Chances are, if an event is run down in our corner of the world, we’ve done it at least once. So, if you’re thinking about doing an event, look it up here and get the inside track!

If you’re curious about an event and don’t see it in our list, feel free to drop us a line and suggest it!

To make things a bit easier, we’ve split the event lists up:

Highland Fling 2017 cover shot

The Fling has Flung

20 November

20 November 2017

The Fling has Flung

For the past 13 years the residents of the sleepy little southern highlands town of Bundanoon have had little idea that they have played host to the one of the most popular S & M parties in Australia, for surely the Highland Fling is one of the greatest gatherings of masochists in the southern hemisphere. They’re just all in disguise, replacing their leather with lycra, and ball-gags with bite valves. But the pain is the same. And, grinning over it all is the sniggering sadist himself, Huw Kingston, pouring salt on the wounds with extra painful treats, such as bagpipes in the morning or cavorting around in a skirt. Alas, 2017 marked the last running of the Fling, and we many masochists will have to find our pain elsewhere - perhaps I’ll take up some of the many options for pain around Canberra, such as hanging out in the public gallery during Question Time.

...Read the full report ...
LunarC 2017 cover shot

The Cyborg Celebrates

19 May 2017

19 May 2017

The Cyborg Celebrates

Generally speaking, birthdays are a time of celebration. A time to perhaps relax, be spoiled, eat cake, drink and be merry. Unless there’s something seriously wrong with you; then you might jump in a car and drive over 1,000km to ride around in circles all night.

...Read the full report ...
Urban Polaris 2017 cover shot

A Tale of Two Sequels

19 May 2017

19 May 2017

A Tale of Two Sequels

A good sequel is a hard thing to pull off. All too often they just seem like a tawdry, money-grabbing exercise, cashing in on the surprise popularity of the original. So, when Guardians of the Galaxy 2 was released in April, the TriHards raced out to see it with great excitement. This feeling was bolstered by the fact that one of the TriHards, McFly had a hand in the creation of this new masterpiece, which certainly didn’t disappoint (though, it did nearly result in whiplash as the viewers attempted to spot his name flying by in the credits!) Guardians two built on the story started in one, fleshing out characters and relationships, without losing any of the original humour or charm – it’s well worth a watch.

But there was another sequel in April which the TriHards were looking forward to even more; a sequel which would see the long-awaited return of characters introduced in previous events – delivering more of the fun, mystery and excitement of its predecessor. It was the second running of the Urban Polaris under the new management of the National Heritage Trust. And this sequel certainly didn’t disappoint!

...Read the full report ...
Dirt de Femme cover shot

Rides with Women

9 May 2017

9 May 2017

Rides with Women

I should probably start by saying I am not a lady. I am not a girl, nor a woman. I am not female at all. And, as a middle-aged white man, this has never really been a problem for me. I have never really had the desire to walk in the other’s shoes, or heels. Not until I hung out at the Dirt de Femme.

...Read the full report ...
Snowies Mountain Bike Festival Cover Image

17 December 2016

Third Time Lucky for the Cyborg!

Coincidentally, it was during another In2Adventure event – their Mountain Designs Adventure Race in 2013 where Junior shared his three goals of any event:

  1. Get to the start.
  2. Get to the finish.
  3. Don’t come last.

Over the past three years, either through misfortune or misadventure, the Cyborg has repeatedly failed to achieve even the first of these three goals. But all that changed in Spring of 2016 when, amongst other things, the latest TriHards coupling were considerate enough to book their wedding on a date not shared by any other event (though, in reality, Engine and Gearbox do so many events, it was probably their only free weekend). And, in the time leading up, the Cyborg had wrapped himself in cotton-wool to ensure he received no injury in the lead up. Well, you know, except for taking on the Bundy Run and the Fling.

But, at around 3:00pm on 25 November 2016, the Cyborg made TriHards history: when he achieved the first goal: he finally made it to the start of the Snowies Mountain Bike Festival.

...Read the full report ...
Highland Fling 2016 Cover Picture

Double the Fun!

3 December 2016

3 December 2016

Double the Fun!

During a CORC club ride a few years ago, I mentioned I was aiming to do the Highland Fling. The very experienced ride leader congratulated me, informing me that the Fling is one of the hardest marathon mountain bike races on offer in Australia. And, after my efforts last year, I’m inclined to agree! But that’s the Full Fling. This year I did the Half Fling which, while it has a lot less single-track (yet, somehow, it felt like there were a very similar number of hills) – It was a whole lot of fun, as opposed to the challenge of the Full Fling. It’s almost as though they’re two completely different races.

...Read the full report ...
Urban Polaris 2016 Cover Picture

Mr GPS gets a Century!

20 April 2016

20 April 2016

Mr GPS gets a Century!

Last weekend the TriHards fielded a team in a biking event that saw them cover close to 100km, a times with a top speed in excess of 80km/hr, taking in some iconic Canberra locations and landmarks- all the while with huge smiles on their faces. As an added bonus – they maintained their position in the results of the top of the bottom third of the pack!

...Read the full report ...
Rock n Road cover picture

18 November 2015

... at least he didn’t fall off.

The final Capital Punishment sheeted home the number of marathon mountain bike events undertaken by the TriHards. In case you haven’t been paying attention - there are quite few and, after a while, they all become a bit same-ish. Go ahead, read the reports and see for yourself. We’ll wait. So, the TriHards decided it was time for something new, and found out about the Rock & Road being put on by Wild Horizons.

The race is a new concept - a duathlon of sorts, combining the disciplines of road cycling with that of mountain biking- the theory being that most “serious” mountain bikers also had a roady in the stable to work on their base kilometres. And, as a brand new event, the TriHards had to send someone along.

...Read the full report ...
HIghland Fling cover picture

Cyborg gets Flung

18 November 2015

18 November 2015

Cyborg gets Flung

It was Groucho who put the thought of doing the Fling into my head back in 2013. “Do the Fling,” he said, “It’ll tear your legs off.” Unfortunately, due to my woefully inadequate attention span I only listened to the first bit, and entered. And failed. Such failure could not stand: I needed a rematch. And this time, there would be no excuses - no recent surgeries or injuries and, with my recent efforts at the Scott 24hr, I was in shape (though, possibly a bit tired). In theory.

...Read the full report ...
Scott 24 Hr 2015 cover picture

31 October 2015

Cyborg’s Quest for the Holy Trail

Legend has it that far out on the mountain, in the deepest, darkest part of the night, a rider will become one with his bike and the trail turns into a magic carpet, carrying them onto enlightenment and nirvana. To some, 24 hour racing is completely insane – a brutal punishment of mind and body, combined with tortuous sleep-deprivation over a prolonged period of time. To others, it is the holy grail of mountain biking; another frontier to discover and explore; a journey rather than a race - a bold adventure to find limits and boundaries, and carve around them like any other berm on the track.

...Read the full report ...
Capital Punishment 2015 cover picture

Punishment Served

10 March 2015

10 March 2015

Punishment Served

I have entered, and completed all the Capital Punishments run by AROC - including the legendary first race in 2010. That was a great ride - you can talk to anyone in the Mountain Biking Fraternity (yes, there is a mountain biking fraternity, and yes, girls are allowed. But not electric bikes) let drop that you did that race and receive instant respect. It was a fantastic brown-carpet premiere for what would become one of the premier mountain biking events in Australia - forming part of the Real Insurance XCM, then Maverick mountain bike series.

...Read the full report ...
Husky 2014 cover picture

7 March 2015

Cyborg Rides the Rollercoaster

The best mountain bike races are like a rollercoaster ride; containing a series of climbs followed by twisting, turning drops to thrill and excite the rider. The Husky is unique amongst mountain bike races in that it delivers this effect in both the literal, and metaphorical sense.

...Read the full report ...
DuoClassic 2015 cover picture

Balance is restored

9 February 2015

9 February 2015

Balance is Restored

The DuoClassic is a fun, friendly event with riders pairing up with a mate to ride a very achievable (yet challenging enough to provide a sense of accomplishment) course. And, while this is true for the TriHards, it is also something more: a lesson in duality; in likes and opposites and the ultimate nature of duality: balance.

...Read the full report ...
Cover Photo

30 July 2012

No Time for Clowning Around

The Three Ring Circus is one of many interesting-looking mountain biking events put on by the team at Wild Horizons; who (from all appearances on their web site) seem to be quite an eccentric mob who relish putting bikers in pain (as well as presenting them with spectacular scenery). Many more serious riders (so, not the TriHards) see the Three Ring Circus as a good prelude for the Highland Fling, which is one of the races in the Australian MTB Marathon Championships, but for most of the punters, it’s just a really good ride, with an excellent atmosphere.

...Read all about it ...
Cover Photo

Zen and the Angry Doctor

Race Report from the Cyborg

Race Report from the Cyborg

Zen and the Angry Doctor

If a tree falls in a forest, and there’s nobody there to hear it, does that mean the race is still on? Welcome to my race report without a race!

...Read all about it ...
Cover Photo

Dirty Steeds Done Dirt Cheap!

12 September 2011

12 September 2011

Dirty Steeds Done Dirt Cheap!

2011 marked the second running of the Back Yamma Bigfoot, making it’s home near Parkes, which isn’t too far from half the TriHards’ stomping grounds. Engine, always being one for efficiency, thought he could kill two birds with one stone: see his father on father’s day (albeit it for about five minutes early in the morning) and squeeze in some adventure.

...Read all about it ...
Cover Photo

24 September 2012

The Cyborg who Came in From the Cold!

Early morning Canberra was shrouded in a fine layer of white mist and frost, lending it an ill-deserved appearance of purity. This still, tranquil morning was interrupted by the far-from-pure Cyborg (who had long-since lost the feeling in his fingers) racing along a firetrail on his commute to work. Fortunately he was riding his dual suspension sporty SuperFly, which danced over the rough terrain with ease and required no further braking or gearing (and hence no fingers). This was more than just any early morning ride; the Cyborg wasn’t freezing in some attempt to retain his youth. No, this was “All Dirt Day”, a new form of training the Cyborg had taken up in recent months.

...Read all about it ...
Cover Photo

Part 1: Mr White

30 August 2013

30 August 2013

Part 1: Mr White

The cold, misty morning found the 00D running along a fireroad astride Mt Taylor, showing a little too much Canberra Pearl (that would be the hue of a Canberran’s skin in deepest, darkest winter). Fortunately nobody had the misfortune of beholding this site, as it was far too early and too cold for anyone but those few crazy people who consider running in the morning to be a good thing. Not that 00D thought it was a good thing - this was far from his idea; as has been well documented on many occasions: he is not a runner.

...Read all about it ...
Cover Photo

29 May 2010

Mud Slinging in Canberra

It is an election year, so anyone in and around Canberra really should expect to see a bit of mud flying. However, on the 29th, the mud was going nowhere near Parliament House; it was being spread around north and west Canberra. And there was nary a politician to be seen-not even the newly-minted opposition leader, an avid rider, runner and swimmer-skills which would have come in remarkably handy during the inaugural Capital Punishment.

...Read all about it ...
Cover Photo

Punished!

Race Report from the Cyborg

Race Report from the Cyborg

Punished!

I have been a naughty boy. I have been a very, very naughty boy. I deserved to be punished. And not just punished, but severely punished. Not being into self-flagellation, I turned to the team I knew could punish me properly: the dedicated people of AROC. And they certainly didn’t disappoint!

...Read all about it ...
Cover Photo

No Rain, No Pain

13 May 2012

13 May 2012

No Rain, No Pain

In the wake of ANZAC Day, a day celebrated as the “forging” of Australia, it seemed entirely appropriate to focus as well on our real origins - the story that gets lost in the ANZAC legend. Australia wasn’t forged in the crucible of war; it was the dumping ground for Britain’s lower classes. Our first roads, buildings and trails were not hewn by the steady hand of mates in khaki, but hacked from hard labour under the whip.

...Read all about it ...
Cover Photo

RainFall!

27 March 2013

27 March 2013

RainFall!

The Cyborg proceeded on foot; quickly and stealthily moving beneath the fluorescent lights, instinctively reaching out at just the right time to grab the correct package, barely slowing before moving on to his next target. Every now and then he would consult his orders using his faithful smartphone, and change course once more to a different section. With deft ease he avoided collisions with those uncontrollable four-wheelers, ducking, weaving throughout until he found himself making a perfect escape with a fresh batch of dog food.

...Read all about it ...
Cover Photo

Cries and Punishment

21 March 2014

21 March 2014

Cries and Punishment

Most times, all the thanks go at the end of a report but who really reads to the end? So, just to make sure everyone sees, the thanks are going at the top!

...Read all about it ...
Cover Photo

27 December 2011

TriHards Receive an Cycling Education!

Do you know where Lady Jessie Street was born? How about who opened the Carillon? Or who planted the “Lone Pine” tree near the Australian War Memorial? More importantly, did you know you can find the answers to all of these - and more - questions merely by riding around Canberra on your bike? It is a great shame that if you were to ask many Canberran locals when the last time they visited one of the fantastic - and free - public institutions scattered about this town, most of them would say never, or not since the last time out-of-towners visited.

...Read all about it ...
Cover Photo

Convicted!

6 May 2014

6 May 2014

Convicted!

In late 2013, Father Brendan announced he was taking a break from siring sons and was planning on entering a relatively local event - the Convict mountain bike race. With a number of TriHards busy with their burgeoning families, it came down to the Cyborg to join the Father in his endeavours. After all, he’d already received Capital Punishment, he may as well be convicted...

...Read all about it ...
Cover Photo

21 January 2012

TriHards Work towards the London Olympics!

The Henderson kids are going to London! Okay, that sounds a bit too much like a bad 80’s Australian tv show, which it isn’t, well, the show was, but that’s not what we’re talking about. In this case, it’s Bec and Ben Henderson, elite level mountain bike riders who are trying to qualify to represent Australia in the London Olympics in 2012. Now, you may well think that qualification for the Olympics just involves being really excellent on the bike and winning a lot of races. Well, in fact, it does. But there’s more to getting to the Olympics than hard training and stiff competition; athletes are faced with the additional challenge of paying their way - not just to the Olympcs, but to the various qualifying races as well.

...Read all about it ...
Cover Photo

Duo draws the dreaded DNF.

31 January 2013

31 January 2013

Duo draws the dreaded DNF.

The DuoClassic is an interesting race held just outside of Canberra in the early parts of the new year, making it one of the first mountain bike races of the year. The inaugural DuoClassic was held as a fundraiser for Bec Henderson’s Olympic bid (she qualified, raced, and came 25th!), now money goes to Bec’s world cup aspirations, and the CORC juniors development team.

...Read all about it ...
Cover Photo

9 February 2014

Duo draws the dreaded DNF, again.

The DuoClassic is a race with a difference - it’s a race with a mate. Teams of two partner up and ride together for 50 kilometres; and it’s entirely up to them how they treat it - a friendly ride ’n chat, or the chance to put your mate in a world of hurt as you push from the front. And with the strong support of CORC (not to mention the fact that the race is put on by the Hendersons - including Olympians Bec and Dan (nee McConnell) - who are about as close as you can get to royalty in Australian mountain biking) it’s a great opportunity to bump rubber with some of the best mountain bikers Australia has to offer.

...Read all about it ...
Cover Photo

MS Gong Ride, 2009

12 November 2009

Cover Photo

13 November 2014

Cyborg chalks up another DNF!

By and large, I enter events just to see if I can do them. I have never actually trained for an event - well, not specifically. I have gone out running and riding, and I have undertaken mountain bike skills courses, all to improve my running and riding. But I have never come up with a training program, or trained with a specific event in mind.

...Read all about it ...
Cover Photo

20 June 2010

Cyborg Hardens Up for the Husky!

I’ve heard tell that the average cost of repairs to bikes following the Capital Punishment was $500. My bike cost less than that new, so I decided it would be cheaper to buy a new bike. But not just any new bike. A shiny new Giant XTC 29er.

...Read all about it ...
Cover Photo

Log Ride in Jervis Bay!

22 August 2011

22 August 2011

Log Ride in Jervis Bay!

The Husky is a friendly and fun mountain bike race set in the beautiful locale of Jervis Bay, New South Wales. The smooth, sandy tracks, with some technical sections, combined with fire trail provide a fast, flowing race through undulating forest. You’re almost guaranteed to have a great ride. Thus far, it’s also guaranteed to be rescheduled. Both times they have run the event, it has had to be postponed due to train. I reckon that next year they should schedule the Husky for April 1; then if it has to be rescheduled they always have the April Fool’s prank to fall back on!

...Read all about it ...
Cover Photo

4 July 2012

Above Average TriHards?

The TriHards have entered riders in the Husky since it’s inception. In 2010 the Cyborg did it with Groucho; in 2011 it was the Cyborg and Father Brendan. Now, in 2012 the TriHards returned to their roots and fielded a team of three: the Cyborg, Engine and McFly. All of whom had very different goals and training regimens.

...Read all about it ...
Cover Photo

1 November 2013

Cyborg gets a century at Callala

The Husky is one of my favourite races. I have completed all of the Huskies to date, albeit in the 50km format, and I have loved them. I had always found the course to be fun, yet still challenging (as can be evidenced by the fact that I haven’t made it through any without coming off at least once!) So, this year, given I’ve moved on to doing the 100km version of everything else, I apprehensively stepped up to the 100km Husky. I say apprehensive, because just as I rave about the 50km version, everyone I have spoken to who have done the 100km have sworn off it. Both of them. And, while that did make me nervous, it also put a fire in my belly, so I decided to actually train for the ride.

...Read all about it ...
Cover Photo

17 October 2012

Benefits of a Classical Education

Have I ever mentioned how spoilt the mountain bikers of Canberra are? We have world class tracks, with great variety (and fantastic facilities) at Stromlo, fast, fun tracks at Bruce Ridge, tricky, technical downhill tracks at Tuggeranong and, just to the east of Canberra, lies over 50km of smooth, flowing singletrack created by dedicated volunteers Paul Cole, Alan Anderson and the Kowalski Brothers, available to riders for the cost of a car trip (or, a longer ride for the freaks!)

...Read all about it ...
Cover Photo

A Tale of Two Races

25 September 2014

25 September 2014

A Tale of Two Races

The team at Self-Propelled run events with a focus on fun. They only run two a year: the Mont 24 Hour, and the Kowalski Classic, and if you only did two events a year, they would be worth it, if only because it gives riders a chance to give a little something back to the team who, for some strange reason, delight in spending their weekends out in the middle of nowhere carving trails for us all to enjoy.

...Read all about it ...
Cover Photo

Tales from the Dark Side

14 October 2012

14 October 2012

Tales from the Dark Side

Sooner or later it had to happen. It was inevitable when you think about it; I really should have seen it coming; I’ve been slipping for a while, and now I find myself on the dark side. Well, maybe not completely, maybe I’m just kind of tan, rather than dark per se. And probably more your terrible, orange fake-tan, then the dark-walnut brown tan at that. Naturally, I have a myriad of excuses, all sorts of justifications for my behaviour: it’s for a good cause; Junior’s doing hundreds of kilometres in the sweltering heat and mountains in the Tour De Timor - the least I could do is a few laps of Lake Burley Griffin for a good cause; it’s just faster... But hidden deep, deep down, I think at some level, I just enjoy it.

...Read all about it ...
Cover Photo

Cycling Cyborgs!

18 April, 2011

18 April, 2011

Cycling Cyborgs!

I like Mont gear. I have a fair bit of it - in fact, you can read reviews of some of the Mont gear that I own here. Now I’ve tried the Mont race, and I have to say, I like that too! Twenty-four hours of mountain bike madness in it’s purest form.

...Read all about it ...
Cover Photo

Urban 09

20 December 2009

20 December 2009

Urban 09

The 2009 Urban was the final event for the TriHards in 2009, and like all good season finales, the event was marked by reminisces of events and races gone by, as the team wound at a leisurely pace over a course covering some very familiar ground in Canberra. Sure, they could have gone hard and set out to win the event, however, that would spoil their leisurely ride down memory lane! (What’s more, it would have made the goal of Rampaging Rick - to beat the TriHards - all that much harder for him; being the Cyborg’s current boss, they thought it may be best not to make it too hard for him, after all, he was already riding with a bike freak.)

...Read all about it ...
Cover Photo

7 December 2008

Action Men of the TriHards Complete the Race with an Identity Crisis!

The Action men of the TriHards used their local knowledge and strategic thinking to record an excellent result in the race of many names over the weekend. In a star-studded field, the TriHards obtained 321 points, gaining 72nd place (out of 255) overall, and 31/78 in the men’s division, which is certainly an excellent result - particularly in their first outing in such a race.

...Read all about it ...